Speculoos Crunch Milk Chocolate 41%

Synopsis
Bean-to-bar Milk chocolate with Speculoos (Biscoff) cookies and a crunchy topping.
Author
Dom Ramsey / XTC Chocolate
Version
2.0
License
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Short URL
xtc.tc/111
Last Updated
6 July 2020

Ingredients

  • 24% Cocoa Nibs
  • 17% Cocoa Butter
  • 13% Whole Milk Powder
  • 25% Unrefined Cane Sugar
  • 19.5% Speculoos / Biscoff cookies (crushed)
  • 0.3% Sea Salt
  • 0.1% Vanilla
  • 0.1% Sunflower Lecithin

Speculoos Crumch Milk Chocolate

Technical Information

  • Roast: Standard (20 minutes @ 120°C)
  • Grind / Conch time:  Standard (36 hours for 3kg Premier grinders, 96 hours for 30kg CocoaTown melangers)

Method

  1. Crush the cookies into small chunks. You can wither do this by placing them into a plastic bag and hitting them with a heavy object, or in a stand mixer of blender.
  2. Sort and roast beans.
  3. After cooling, break and winnow.
  4. Slowly add nibs to heated melanger.
  5. Add pre-melted cocoa butter. This can be added in parallel with the cocoa nibs to help speed the process.
  6. Slowly add the milk powder, sugar and crushed cookies. Give the melanger a few minutes to refine the powdered ingredients before adding more, so it doesn’t become too thick and unwworkable.
  7. Add the sea salt and vanilla.
  8. Allow to grind / conch for prescribed time.
  9. One hour before the end of the cycle, add the lecithin.
  10. Pour into containers and allow to set.
  11. Prepare the crunchy topping with some more broken cookies, a little Demerara sugar and a touch of sea salt.
  12. Temper as per the milk chocolate settings on your tempering machine.
  13. As soon as the chocolate is in the moulds, sprinkle the crunchy topping over the top and place into the fridge to set.

Speculoos Crumch Milk Chocolate

Notes

Speculoos cookies (sometimes called Biscoff) are spiced, caramel flavour cookies. For the recipe development we used Lotus Biscoff biscuits. There’s no reason why you couldn’t experiment with other cookies, as long as they don’t contain moisture.

If you’re using a blender to break up the biscuits, note that it may turn into a paste as it heats up and releases the oils in the cookie. This is fine for making the chocolate, but for the topping you will want larger chunks. Putting the cookies into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on slow for a few minutes produces a great result.

It’s important to note that the cookies contain vegetable oils which will be released into your chocolate. Technically, this means that the finished product is a compound chocolate (i.e. it contains other fats in addition to cocoa butter). It’s up to you to decide if this is something you’re comfortable with.

There are a wide range of milk powders available on the market, and we usually recommend going with a locally sourced product. Generally full fat cows milk will produce the best flavour.

The cocoa nib content of this milk chocolate is quite low, so any subtle flavour notes in your cacao may not come through with the strong caramel flavour of the cookies. As such, a good quality cacao with a simple “chocolatey” flavour profile is well suited to this recipe.

The cookies are difficult to refine, and it’s difficult to get a perfectly smooth chocolate if you make this recipe in a melanger. It will likely require a longer refining time than most bean-to-bar recipes, and still won’t be entirely smooth. The addition of the crunchy topping here is partly to negate the need for the chocolate to be completely smooth, but it does also provide a great additional flavour and texture.

The sea salt is an important flavour enhancer in this recipe, as it helps to bring out the full flavour of the cookie. You may also want to try adding additional spices to the chocolate itself.

We like to use Sunflower Lecithin in our chocolate as this can also have a significant impact on viscosity and make moulding much easier. We use it in preference to Soy Lecithin which some people have allergies to. Again, if your chocolate flows readily you may want to omit this entirely and increase the nib content.

If there’s any moisture in your cookies, or the Demerara sugar for the topping, you can spread them on a baking sheet and dry them in a very low oven for an hour. It is important to remove as much moisture as possible from all ingredients.

Speculoos Crumch Milk Chocolate

License

Creative Commons Licence
Speculoos Crunch Milk Chocolate 41% by XTC Chocolate is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://xtc.tc/111.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://xtcchocolate.com/licensing/.